Organized Home

Goalposts: What Football Players Know About Setting And Reaching Goals

Posted by Cynthia Ewer on October 6, 2018

Wheeling my shopping cart down the aisle at the supermarket this week, I was forced to take notice that it was, indeed, football season.

With my attention distracted by a flashing soda display, my cart crashed into the corner of a miniature football field, constructed entirely out of beer cases.

Untangling my cart (and trying to shove the cases back into line before anyone noticed that I'd creamed the goalpost), it occurred to me that I could learn a lot about goals from football players.

Save on Groceries: Tips to Boost Your Price Power

On any trip to the grocery store, it's the first and simplest question: what's the price?

Time was, it was easy to know the price of any grocery item; before computers, each can, carton and bottle sported a physical price tag. Old-school physical price tags made food costs clear--and to raise prices, grocers had to re-tag food items. This labor-intensive process discouraged wide swings in pricing. Shoppers knew what food cost, and it was easy to notice rising prices.

Hello, 21st century! In today's supermarket, finding the price of any item is no longer so straight-forward. What's a savvy shopper to do? Try these tips to boost your price power--and save.

Printables: 

Cut Clutter in the Bathroom: Easy as A-B-C!

Posted by Cynthia Ewer on September 16, 2018

Busy school-day mornings bring new focus on the master bathroom. Home to grooming rituals and personal care chores--and heir to all sorts of oddments and obsessions--the master bathroom is your launch pad to an organized day.

What's the state of your private domain? Time to cut the clutter with a session of sorting, tossing and decision-making. A simple A-B-C concept will make short work of organizing the bathroom's limited space.

Fall Cleaning Chore Checklist

Posted by Cynthia Ewer on September 3, 2018

It's Autumn. Pumpkins glow in golden fields. Shorter days, crisp mornings signal winter's approach.

Can the holidays be far behind?

Use Autumn's brisk and breezy days to conquer deep-cleaning chores for a clean and comfortable winter home, and to wrap up summer's outdoor lifestyle.

Our Fall Cleaning Chore Checklist will help you prepare home and hearth for the coming of winter:

Printables:  calendar_checklist_fall_winter.pdf calendar_checklist_spring_summer.pdf

Kids and Chores: Chilling The Chore Wars

Posted by Cynthia Ewer on August 28, 2018

When it comes to kids and housework, the blasted terrain is familiar: a dirty house, balky children, and frazzled, frustrated parents--and a new school year throws the issue into high relief.

How to negotiate a peace on the issue of children and chores? Try these family-tested strategies to calm the conflict and gain the goal.

Organized Christmas? Make a Christmas Planner Notebook

What's the fast-track way to an organized holiday season? Prepare for the holiday season with the help of a Christmas planner notebook!

Most often created as a simple 3-ring binder, a Christmas planner notebook is Santa Central for an organized Christmas.

Because you make your own Christmas planner, each notebook will be unique: a treasure trove of personalized planning helpers to cut holiday-season stress.

Ready for Christmas? Try A Holiday Organizing Plan!

Labor Day weekend ahead! School bells are ringing, football fills the airwaves and September looms. Will the holidays be far behind?

Sure, you're dreaming of the perfect Christmas--then you open your eyes to reality. Looking around the house, it's hard to imagine how to cut the clutter, manage fall cleaning and prepare for Christmas all at once.

Household Notebook: Planner for an Organized Home

So you think businesspeople are the only folks who need a personal planner? Think again: families need an organizer, too, to keep life moving smoothly on the home front!

Whether it's called a household notebook, a home management binder or family organizer, this simple idea saves time, cuts stress, and enhances communication in any-sized family or household.

A standard-sized binder stocked with calendars and schedules, planner forms and inventories, a Household Notebook creates a one-stop information center for busy families. Whether it's a carpool schedule or a co-worker's phone number, the Household Notebook holds the information you need to check each day.

Start Small: Sneak Up On Freezer Cooking

You've heard about bulk freezer cooking--an easy method of stockpiling prepared meals in the household freezer.

Commercial meal assembly franchises like Dream Dinners®, or Let’s Dish® have popularized the concept (at a cost), but smart home cooks know that feeding the freezer is an efficient way to feed the family. too.

Printables: 

Magic Minimum: Cleaning Secret of Organized Families

Posted by Cynthia Ewer on August 19, 2018

Is there time to clean house? Not for today's busy families!

Between work, children's activities, and vacation plans, even the most leisurely days don't seem long enough to get everything done at home.

There's a solution for busy times! Just as your body needs a "minimum daily allowance" of vitamins and minerals, an organized home needs a minimum of maintenance and attention to keep running smoothly.

Seasonal Clothing Declutter: Who's Living In Your Closet?

Posted by Cynthia Ewer on August 16, 2018

Once again, I mark the coming of autumn with a clothing closet declutter.

I wade into the closet and find the boxes of out-of-season clothing. Try everything on, skin itching at the touch of wool when the temperature's 80 degrees.

Sort the summer's keepers from items to donate. Look for "holes" and orphans in my autumn wardrobe. Count the upcoming dinners and holiday events, and divide them by the number of my party dresses. Try, for the 900th time, to locate some good transitional outfits: cool enough for warm autumn days, but not too summery or too bare.

A closet declutter is more a ritual celebration of the change of seasons. It's a time for reflection, a time to face up to changing identities. Who's living in your clothes closet?

Tame Morning Madness with a Family Launch Pad

Posted by Cynthia Ewer on August 14, 2018

Morning Madness! Only the pre-dinner "Arsenic Hour" comes close in the "Calgon, take me away!" category.

Bathroom fights, soggy cereal, and the ever-present, "Mommy! I can't find my . . . !"

Getting the family out the door in the morning can make any parent want to pull the bedclothes up and hide.

One small concept can go a long way to taming the morning beast: the family Launch Pad. Just as a spaceship must have a dedicated structure to support liftoff, so family members need a Launch Pad to stabilize them as they blast out the door.

Get Organized for Homeschool

In my years as worker, mother and home manager, I have experienced a full range of life’s little organizational challenges. I have run a business from a home shared with two tiny children and moved cross-country (and back). I've merged two cluttered households into one small city apartment, and lived for many happy years with a card-carrying packrat husband.

The challenge of home schooling a child beat them all hands-down, organizationally speaking.

Teaching Kids The Planner Habit

Posted by Cynthia Ewer on August 11, 2018

Teachers, parents and homeschool families know that training kids to the planner habit makes for successful students.

School districts throughout the USA issue planners to pupils and integrate planner use into the school day. Homeschool families use planners to track and organize lessons, chores and activities, while tech-savvy teens rely on smartphone calendar and to-do apps to organize their work.

A student planner is only a tool. How do you teach a child to use one? Try these tips to teach kids the planner habit.

Get Organized: Tips to Help With Homework

Posted by Cynthia Ewer on August 10, 2018

The start of a new school year means fresh supplies and new outfits ... and their less-welcome cousin, homework. How will you handle daily homework sessions in your organized home?

To stave off homework battles, it pays to make a plan. Creating a homework routine undercuts foot-dragging, while setting up a homework station keeps distractions to a minimum. Having a plan for homework accountability encourages student responsibility--and sees to it that homework gets done on time.

Ready to plan for homework? Try these tips to get it done swiftly, done right during the coming school year.

Kids and Clothing: Win the Wardrobe Wars

Posted by Cynthia Ewer on August 9, 2018

What to wear? For many families, this simple question is a daily flash-point for conflict on school mornings.

A budding fashionista throws a tantrum if a given outfit doesn't meet her standards, while another child insists on wearing one favorite shirt day after day--laundered or not. Younger children resist getting dressed at all, delaying the whole family's departure--and everyone's mood descends to the basement before the day has even begun.

Win the wardrobe wars! Try these ideas to get 'em up, dressed and off to school on time.

Gear Up for School Lunches

Posted by Cynthia Ewer on August 8, 2018

Will you add "pack school lunches" to your to-do list when school starts? Time to get organized!

School-day mornings veer to frazzled in a heartbeat, and never more so than when trying to pack lunches while locating laundry, overseeing homework and calling children to breakfast.

Give yourself a break, and take time now to prepare for the school lunch routine. With nine months of lunch duty ahead, planning school lunch menus will make it easy to pack the sacks each day!

Printables:  Back-to-School Lunch Planner

Create A Family Command Center

Posted by Cynthia Ewer on August 7, 2018

Each day in your household, the questions fly. What time is soccer practice? Do we need to buy milk? Is the family free to attend a barbecue this weekend?

Even in an age of smartphones, each household needs a one-stop location to find the answers: a family command center.

Information central for busy families, a family command center cuts school-day stress by creating a single location to find calendars, information and messages needed by the family each day.

Today in the Back-to-School Countdown, we'll set up--or spiff up!--a family command center to keep life running smoothly.

Set Up A Family Launch Pad

Posted by Cynthia Ewer on August 6, 2018

It's not just our family that exits the door each morning during the school, it's our stuff! Can you find what you need to get the children off to school on time each day?

Briefcases and backpacks, library books and lunch sacks travel with us in and out of the house each day. Arriving home, these possessions scatter to the winds; in the morning, precious time is wasted rounding them up for another day's use.

If you're playing too many games of "Where's the permission slip?", it's time to consider taming the chaos with a family launch pad.

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